Equine Affaire: Elevating the Equestrian Experience Again this April

Spring is right around the corner, and so is the 45th Equine Affaire! North America’s premiere equine exposition and equestrian gathering will return to the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus on April 12th through the 15th with a wealth of horses and horse-related opportunities for equestrians including the largest horse-related trade show in North America, an educational program that is second-to-none, Equine Affaire’s exciting Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, and the ever-popular Pfizer Fantasia.

With a schedule of 230-plus educational sessions in eight venues, acres of exhibits to browse, and special events on Thursday through Saturday evenings, attendees will want to plan to arrive early and stay late each day.
 
Horsepeople of all levels of expertise from 4-H riders and those who are just getting started in the horse world to accomplished equestrians and equine professionals will be able to immerse themselves in “all things equine” for four full days at the 2012 Equine Affaire and soak up training and riding tips from a roster of Olympians and World and National Champions from disciplines as diverse as reining, dressage, barrel racing, eventing, jumping, driving, hunter under saddle, team penning and sorting, English pleasure, and gaited horse competition … to name a few.

Equine Affaire is proud to once again feature a blend of top-notch clinicians and presenters that will represent a broad spectrum of equestrian disciplines at their highest levels and ensure the presentation of a wide range of horse-training techniques and philosophies. Craig Cameron, Linda Parelli, Mark Rashid, Stacy Westfall, Guy McLean, and Jonathan Field are among the presenters who will provide guidance on general horse training and riding topics.
The western disciplines will be well-represented at the 2012 Equine Affaire through sessions conducted by Stacy Westfall on reining, Connie Combs on barrel racing, Aaron Ralston on trail and ranch horse training, Drew Emnett on western pleasure, Jeff Wilson on western dressage, Larry Kuyper on team penning and sorting, and Jennifer Moshier on showmanship. Those who prefer the English disciplines will not want to miss sessions by Todd Flettrich and Terry Ciotti Gallo on dressage, Peter Leone on hunters and jumpers, Sinead Halpin on eventing, Andy Marcoux on driving, Jennifer Moshier on hunter under saddle, and Duane Esser on English pleasure and hunter pleasure for gaited breeds.

Clinicians presenting sessions focused on specific breeds and types of horses will include Brenda Imus on easy gaited horses and Cathy Zahm on draft horses. Equine Affaire’s diverse program this April will be rounded out by clinics conducted by Hollie McNeil on horse and rider biomechanics, sessions by renowned liberty performers, Sylvia Zerbini and Dan James, on the training of liberty and trick horses, a clinic on riding aside by Mary Rivers, presentations on mountain trail by Mark Bolender, sessions on lunging by Cathy Drumm, and demonstrations by the Northern Ohio Outlaws on cowboy mounted shooting.

The Versatile Horse & Rider Competition returns! Equine Affaire’s hugely popular Versatile Horse & Rider Competition—which was introduced at the Ohio Equine Affaire last year—promises to be a highlight of the 2012 event this April. The competition is a timed and judged race through an obstacle course that is designed not only to push horse and rider teams out of their traditional “comfort zones,” but also to test communication between horse and rider and the horsemanship skills and athletic abilities of each competing team. Thirty pre-selected horse and rider teams will compete for the title of “Versatile Horse & Rider Competition Champion” and $5500 in cash and other prizes.

To eliminate the need to choose between attending a favorite clinic at Equine Affaire or the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, all of the qualifying rounds for this year’s competition will be held on Thursday evening after all Equine Affaire clinics, seminars, and demos have concluded for the day. The top 10 horse and rider teams will advance to the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition Finals which will take place on Sunday morning during Equine Affaire.

“The Versatile Horse & Rider Competition has gained incredible popularity among both competitors and spectators since we first produced the race at our Massachusetts event in 2007,” explained Eugenia Snyder, President of Equine Affaire. “It’s a true test of horsemanship for those who are willing to put their riding skills on the line—and a whole lot of fun for horse people in the audience who mentally work through the course with each team—thinking about the best approach to an obstacle and empathizing with the contestants as their horses succeed at some obstacles and fall short at others. In reality, the VHRC is not only an exciting competition to watch, but also a valuable learning experience. You get to watch great horses and great riders tackle real riding challenges, and you inevitably learn a lot simply by observing different approaches to the same obstacles and the horsemanship skills of dozens of riders on horses of a wide variety of breeds.”  

Veteran all-breed and multi-disciplines judge, Jennifer Moshier, will serve as the esteemed judge for the competition, while Aaron Ralston will be the event’s special guest commentator. If you’re ready to put your skills to the test, you’ll find details on the competition and how to apply at http://www.equineaffaire.com Just click on the Ohio event and follow the “participate link” to the competition. Applications will be accepted only until thirty contestants are selected and confirmed. And, if you simply plan to watch from the stands, get there early to get a seat (admission is included in your Equine Affaire daily admission)…and hold on tight, you’ll be on the edge and in for a ride!
 

The Pfizer Fantasia—Always a Night to Remember

The focus will shift from education to entertainment at Equine Affaire’s flagship equestrian extravaganza, the Pfizer Fantasia, which will take place at 7:30pm on Friday and Saturday nights in the coliseum. As veteran Fantasia-goers have come to know, this special equine musical revue will feature a star-studded lineup of professional equestrian performers and exceptional horses choreographed to a wide variety of musical styles. Enjoy the beauty and diversity of horses of many breeds as well as the excitement of equestrian sports including freestyle reining, dressage, driving, drill teams, trick riding, trick horses, and more!
 
A separate ticket is required, and tickets range in price from $12 to $25 plus seat selection fees. Advance tickets are available through March 18th and can be ordered online at www.equineaffaire.com <http://www.equineaffaire.com/>;  or by calling Equine Affaire at (740) 845-0085. Any tickets not sold in advance will be available for purchase at the Information Booth in the Bricker Building beginning at 9:00am on Thursday at Equine Affaire. Prepare to be dazzled by the performers at the 2012 Pfizer Fantasia—and to appreciate the special relationship that we enjoy with horses.  Get your ticket now—with the show being produced on only two nights this April, tickets are going fast.
 

Convenient, One-Stop Shopping

Put simply, Equine Affaire offers the finest one-stop, horse-related shopping in North America.  Lace up your most comfortable shoes and be ready to explore literally acres of equine-related retailers and manufacturers in a trade show that will fill four exhibit halls and the areas in between. This year’s event will feature more than 450 vendors offering everything from tack and apparel to horse-care items and trailers. Whether you’re planning to build a barn, replace a fence, or install a riding arena or you’re shopping for new tack, attire, artwork, DVDs, or even a horse, you’ll find information, manufacturers, retailers, associations, equine service providers, and plenty of other horse-related sources at Equine Affaire.
 

A World of Horses on Review

What would a horse fest be without incredible horses? The Cashmans Breed Pavilion in the Voinovich Center and the Horse & Farms Exhibits in the Gilligan Complex will showcase dozens of breeds of horses from North and South America, Europe, and beyond. Whether your interest lies in stock breeds, gaited horses, light breeds, warmbloods, drafts, ponies, mules, or some unique breed–or you’re searching for a competitive mount or a pleasure horse, you’ll find it at Equine Affaire. Friendly and knowledgeable horse breeders and representatives will be on hand to answer your questions about characteristics, uses, bloodlines, and horse selection. Come to Equine Affaire to experience a full taste of the horse world and research horses for sale, stallions at stud, training and breeding facilities, and various equine-related services from throughout the Midwest.
 

A Special Place for the Next Generation of Horsemen

Horsey kids of all ages will want to spend time at the Stone Horses® Youth Pavilion in the Celeste Center. In addition to educational and horse-related youth association exhibits, the Stone Horses® Youth Pavilion will feature a full schedule of presentations by many of the horse industry’s most popular educators, demonstrations of horse breeds, daily stick horse rodeos sponsored by Wahl Clipper Corp., model horse painting sponsored by Stone Horses®, an equine trivia quest, and many other activities specially for kids.

Attendees will also have the chance to get up close and personal with several equine stars at the 2012 Celebrity Horse Showcase located in the Youth Pavilion. Equine Affaire is partnering with the Kentucky Horse Park to feature horses from their Hall of Champions, Breeds Barn, and KHP Literacy Program including Da Hoss, a Thoroughbred racehorse with a remarkable racing career; Ghunghuru, a rare pinto Marwari mare; and Rowdy, a miniature horse and important ambassador for the Park’s invaluable Literacy Program. Additionally, Padre’ (a mustang born in the wild and making waves in the dressage arena) will be on hand along with the Breyer® model of his likeness. Don’t forget your camera!
 

Bring Your Horse with You to Equine Affaire  

Equine Affaire offers unique opportunities to “Ride with the Best” (or have your horse trained) in clinics on general horse training topics and a wide range of disciplines. Most of the clinicians presenting at the event will be accepting horses and riders to participate in their sessions, and clinic fees are remarkably reasonable. If you’d like to do more than just spectate this April, visit http://www.equineaffaire.com  for details on Equine Affaire’s Ride With The Best program and how you and your horse can participate. Clinics have filled quickly, so contact the staff of Equine Affaire now to find out what sessions may still have openings.
 

Free is Good!

Would you like to win a year’s supply of feed or bedding for your horse, jazz up your horse’s appearance with a western bling bridle or breastcollar, or receive free tickets to Equine Affaire?  Equine Affaire’s 2012 raffle features a number of great prizes and is both free and easy to enter.  Visit http://www.equineaffaire.com  to learn more about the prizes available in this year’s raffle and enter online. And be sure to visit the Raffle Center in the Bricker Building at the event to see the prizes on display and complete your entry. Winners will be announced on Sunday afternoon, and you need not be present to win.
 

Want to Join the Team?

The production of an event of the size and complexity of Equine Affaire depends upon assistance from a large number of capable volunteers. If you’re interested in getting involved in the production, earning free admission and an Equine Affaire souvenir, and working with great people, contact our volunteer coordinator, Cindy Murphy, at (740) 845-0085 ext. 102 for details on our volunteer program. Information on volunteering and a volunteer application are also available at www.equineaffaire.com <http://www.equineaffaire.com>; . Click on the Ohio event and follow the “Participate” link to the volunteer page.  
 

Equine Affaire:  Always a Great Value for Horse Lovers

You can enjoy all that Equine Affaire has to offer—the clinics and seminars, the shopping, the specialty pavilions, and the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition for the price of a single-day or multi-day general admission ticket. Adult admission is only $15/day (and includes a free event program) and youth (age 7-10) admission is only $8/day. A four-day pass for adults is also available for just $50—a savings of $10 off of the daily rate.   
 
Round up your horse-loving friends and barn mates and plan your April getaway. Equine Affaire makes your trip even more affordable with special room blocks and discount rates at dozens of area host hotels. You’re encouraged to make your hotel reservations soon as room blocks and special rates at our host hotels will expire in early March. Camping with hookups is available right at the Ohio Expo Center on a first-come, first-served basis. Consult http://www.equineaffaire.com/  for hotel details, updated information on room availability, and information on camping.   
 

Generous Sponsors Make Equine Affaire Possible as well as Affordable for All

Equine Affaire’s extensive program of educational activities and entertainment and the event’s modest admission fees are made possible through generous sponsorships by dozens of equine-related companies and organizations. We all extend our sincere gratitude to Pfizer Animal Health, Farnam, Rod’s Western Palace, Cashmans, Andis Co., Stone Horses®, Light ‘N Lasting, and the dozens of other companies who have endorsed the educational mission of Equine Affaire through their sponsorships. Without the financial underwriting of these fine companies, Equine Affaire would not be the quality event that it is.
 

Everything You Need to Know to Go

http://www.equineaffaire.com contains everything you need to know to make your visit a fun and successful one: admission details, directions, hotel information, a complete roster of presenters, daily schedules, maps, Ride With The Best and Versatile Horse & Rider Competition materials, facility information, and tips for making the most of your Equine Affaire experience. You can order advance tickets online or through the mail (through March 18th). If you’re not Web-savvy, our friendly staff will gladly take your call and provide assistance at (740) 845-0085 Monday-Friday from 9:00am-5:00pm Eastern.
 
We look forward to seeing you and your family and horse-loving friends at the 2012 Equine Affaire in Columbus, OH, April 12-15!